Match Reports




Doctors beat Pencombe by 3 wickets

Pencombe        165 for 2


Doctors            166 for 7


  Touring side Pencombe had enjoyed their night out before the match and lost one of their number due to over-indulgence but Bob Townsend and Owen Thomas showed no trace of a hangover as they reconnoitred carefully against the tight opening attack from Mike Smart and Mike Sullivan.  Thomas (20) suddenly opened up with a six and two fours but the Kings Hall pitch was two-paced and another attempted drive against a good length outswinger from Rob Rowles (1-28) miscued as the ball “stopped” on him and Sam Powell at point took a good swirling catch.  Townsend was by now playing fluently and was joined by the aggressive Stuart Barrett in a stand that was to be worth 109 runs.  Doctors’ bowling and fielding, in a total reversal from their previous match, was tight and incisive as Powell and Phil Barker made excellent use of the pitch and were unlucky to be unrewarded.  The return of Sullivan and a typically astringent spell from John Down kept the batsmen on a tight rein at the crucial stage when Pencombe were looking to accelerate.  Barrett (40) had played well until he looked to pull the first ball from Peter Reed (1-16), missed, and was plumb lbw.  Gareth Price (21 n.o.) came in to play a couple of handsome shots and, Townsend, although now tiring, kept the score ticking over and carried his bat for 74.  Both sides were reasonably pleased with the score at the mid point of the match.


  Keith Powell looked good until he tried an ambitious on drive against the rapid bowling of James Brown and lost his middle stump.  For a glorious half an hour John Ogle (33) played sublimely against the best that Pencombe could throw at him and it was a major disappointment when he too was undone by a ball that “stopped” and his drive at Tim Brook looped tamely to Brown at mid on.  Rowles soon suffered a similar fate, caught by Thomas at mid off from the deserving Brian Pilliner (1-21).  With the score on 58 Dave Rooke and Ralph Hammond came together for a useful partnership which ended when Rooke (15) confirmed that driving on this pitch was not a safe option as he too found the hands of Brown at mid on from the bowling of Brook (2-51).  Julian Graham had earlier fractured a rib when diving in the field so this meant that Doctors were effectively 71 for 5 but Sam Powell turned the match on its head with a daring innings that won him man-of-the-match status.  Ignoring the risks Powell launched a breathtaking series of pulls and drives and his 42 contained two sixes and 5 fours.  With firm support from Hammond and some first class running between the wickets the score moved quickly on to 130.  The only flaw in his performance was its end, bowled attempting an adrenalin-fuelled drive at a yorker from Thomas.  There was another twist to the match when Thomas (2-32) removed Sullivan to yet another drive which went in the air and Hammond’s well judged innings of 29 was ended by the returning Brown (2-30).  Doctors still needed 32 with only 2 wickets left and Barker the only recognised batsman remaining. Accurate bowling from Brown and Phil Brook meant that patience was required but Reed leant solid support as Barker (21 n.o.) played yet another match-winning knock.  Eventually the bad balls came along and pulls for 3 fours and a six from Doctors’ ace “finisher” were enough.